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80   THE PIONEERS OF OLD ONTARIO

father of the Premier, beginning as reeve of Oro ended his political career as Minister of Agriculture for the province. It is not by one of fortune's freaks that E. C. Drury to-day holds the position of first citizen of the wealthiest and most populous province of Canada.

VILLAGES THAT ARE NO MORE

Few men had a wider or more varied know-ledge of early days in Simcoe County than William Hewson, who told me his story in Barrie in the summer of 1900. Mr. Hewson had seen Canadian voyageurs on their way to Montreal with pelts, when Lake Simcoe was a link in one of the chief highways between the Upper Lakes and the Gulf; he had seen the annual movement of Indians back and forth between Toronto and Georgian Bay; his father's home was one of the halting points for British soldiers on their way to and from Penetang', and he was eye-witness of the beginning of the white migration to the country surrounding the lake which bears the name of Upper Canada's first governor.

Mr. Hewson was located at a particularly favourable place for viewing these movements, having settled with his father on Big Bay Point in 1820. From that date until after the last century ended he lived almost continuously in Simcoe County.

"When I was a lad," said Mr. Hewson, "one of the great receiving depots in the days of the fur trade was maintained by Alfred Thompson, of Penetang'. Mr. Thompson's winter receipts of pelts had an aggregate value of from thirty


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